Allan Williams: The Man Who Gave Away The Beatles

One person who is an important (and colorful) figure in Beatles history is Allan Williams, the nightclub owner who was the band’s first manager/booking agent.

Williams owned a Liverpool nightclub known as the “The Jac”. Members of the Beatles were frequent patrons, and soon they were invited to perform at the club, which lead to a business relationship.

With new drummer Pete Best, in the summer of 1960 Williams took the band to Hamburg, where he booked them into a popular club that only offered English-language rock music. The following year, Williams had a falling out with the band over a 10% commission he was supposed to receive for their subsequent engagement in Hamburg.

In 1962, before signing a contract to represent the Beatles, Brian Epstein called Williams to inquire if there might be any dangling contracts or obligations left over. Williams gave Epstein the warning, “Don’t touch them with a f—– bargepole; they will let you down.”

In the years after the 1970 dissolution of the Beatles, Williams and the former members of the Beatles would speak fondly of each other. Paul McCartney is on record in many instances referring to Williams as a “great guy”. In 1977, Williams published his memoirs, The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away, which received both an endorsement and praise from John Lennon.

For many years Allan Williams has been a featured speaker at Beatles conventions all around the world. He is always a major VIP at Liverpool’s annual Beatles Week Festival.

It is not uncommon for Beatles fans touring Liverpool to spot him having a beer at one of the pubs which have ties to the Beatles scene in Liverpool. He is always most friendly.

Here is John Lennon in 1975 talking about the early days and a possible Beatles reunion:

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